Quantcast

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust

Making a homemade, flaky, all-butter pie crust from scratch is unbelievably easy with just a few tricks and tips…and it’s so delicious that you’ll never want to buy a pre-made pie crust again!

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Pie crust is one of those things that many people are intimidated to make from scratch. Believe me, I get it…I used to be right there, too, thinking that my best option was to buy a frozen or refrigerated pie crust every time I wanted to make a pie.

But one day I decided to face my pie crust phobia head-on. I mean, what could be so difficult about flour, salt, butter, and water? If Marie Callender could do it, by golly, so could I!

And the verdict? Y’all, making your own pie crust really is easy. On top of that, the flavor of a flaky, buttery, homemade pie crust far surpasses anything you can buy pre-made. And yes, I am firmly in the all-butter pie crust camp. I know that vegetable shortening has its merits when it comes to pie crust, but it’s an ingredient that I prefer to avoid when possible. I’ve found that I can get a perfectly flaky crust using only butter, but it does involve a few tricks.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}There are two secrets to my success with making homemade pie crust: cold ingredients, and a food processor. That’s right, folks, I let the food processor do the grunt work for me. Now if you don’t have a food processor, you can certainly achieve a perfect pie crust without one. After all, I don’t think our grandmothers relied on a Cuisinart. You’ll just have to cut your ingredients together using a pastry blender (for just a few dollars, it’s a worthwhile investment), and then use a spatula to work in the water. It takes a bit more elbow grease and patience, but making your crust by hand can still yield great results. The key is starting with ice-cold butter and water, and just as importantly, keeping the ingredients cold by working them quickly and not using your hot little hands except when necessary.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}The reason? Because once your dough is all rolled out and popped into the oven, those still-intact pieces of cold butter will melt and steam and burst, creating little air pockets that yield the flakiness in your pie crust. That doesn’t happen if all of your butter has already melted into the dough before hitting the oven.

Alrighty now, enough chit chat. Let’s get on with our crust-making, shall we?

Start by dicing your butter into small cubes, and then popping those cubes into the freezer for awhile. You want it to be nice and cold, even partially frozen.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust  |  {Five Heart Home}Next, measure your flour and salt into the bowl of your food processor, and dump the butter on top. I like to make sure my cubes of butter are fairly broken up and not all clumped together when I do this.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust  |  {Five Heart Home}Pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse, sandy crumbs. It’s preferable for there to be some recognizable bits of butter remaining, but they shouldn’t be larger than pea-sized.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust  |  {Five Heart Home}With the lid of the food processor on, pour 1 tablespoon of ice water through the feed tube, and pulse a few times. Repeat this step, pulsing between each tablespoon of water until the dough starts clumping together and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much water! Eight tablespoons is usually just right for me, but you could require a tad more. Just pay attention to your dough and stop before it gets too wet.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust  |  {Five Heart Home}Once you’ve reached the right consistency, dump the mixture onto a large cutting board or clean countertop, quickly form it into two balls, and then flatten the balls into disks. Remember not to overwork the dough with your hands…you don’t want to warm the dough and melt the butter!

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust  |  {Five Heart Home}Place each disk of dough in a plastic baggie (or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap) and put them in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to 4 days. Another bonus of this recipe is that it makes a double crust. So if you need two crusts for your pie, you’re good to go. But if you just need a bottom crust, you have another whole crust to stash in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready for it.

Once your dough is nice and chilled, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes so that it warms up just enough to soften a bit before rolling (remember, you still want it to stay cold!). After chilling, your dough shouldn’t be too sticky, but you’ll still want to lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Just remember that if you use too much flour, you might end up with a tough pie crust.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust  |  {Five Heart Home}Take your time rolling out your crust. Start at the center and roll outward, turning your dough a quarter turn and repeating until the diameter of the whole crust is about 4 inches larger than the pie pan. If the edges of the crust start to split, pinch them together before continuing.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust  |  {Five Heart Home}Transfer the crust by rolling it over the rolling pin, and then unrolling it evenly over the pie pan. Carefully lift the edges of the crust so that its center can be lowered into the corners of pan. Gently press the sides of the crust onto the sides of the pie plate, and finish the edges of the pie with your preferred decorative edge. Clearly, I was going for a rustic look with my imperfect, asymmetrical crust here…

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Now all you have to do is fill and bake your pie according to whatever recipe you’re making!

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust  |  {Five Heart Home}Voila! Can you believe it? Together, we just made a tender, buttery, flaky, homemade pie crust! That wasn’t so bad now, was it?

The holiday season is right around the corner, and with it, many occasions calling for pie (yippee!). I have quite a few pies planned for you over the next few months, but before I post those, I felt like it was my duty to share this all-time favorite pie crust of mine with you, which incidentally, happens to be just as good complementing a savory pie (think chicken pot pie) as a sweet one.

Even if you’re already a pie crust professional, I think that you will enjoy this bursting-with-butter, melt-in-your-mouth version. And even if you’ve never attempted a pie crust from scratch before, this is a great place to start. You can do it! Pinky swear. And after you do, you’ll see how easy it was and how buttery it tastes…and you’ll wonder what took you so long to make your own homemade pie crust in the first place. ;)

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust

Yield: 2 pie crusts

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust

Making a homemade, flaky, all-butter pie crust from scratch is unbelievably easy with just a few tricks and tips, and it's so delicious that you'll never want to buy a pre-made pie crust again!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

Directions

  1. Pulse the butter, flour, and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse sand, with some small lumps of butter (no larger than pea-sized) remaining.
  2. Feed one tablespoon of ice water at a time through the feed tube of the food processor, pulsing 4 to 5 times after each addition. Stop adding water when the mixture begins to form large clumps and pulls away from sides of the food processor bowl.
  3. Dump the mixture onto a work surface and push it together into a big lump using your hands. Quickly form the dough into two balls and flatten them into 4-inch disks. Place each disk in a plastic baggie or wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 4 days. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 3 to 4 minutes ahead of time so that it just starts to soften and is easier to roll.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the disk of dough from the center moving outward, turning it a quarter turn and repeating until the diameter of the whole crust is about 4 inches larger than the pie pan. If the edges of the crust start to split, pinch them together before continuing.
  5. Carefully transfer pie crust to the pie pan and continue with pie recipe as directed.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

Remember...try not to handle the dough too much or your hands will warm it and start to melt the butter, resulting in a less-flaky crust.

Wrapped in an air-tight plastic baggie or several layers of plastic wrap, a disk of this pie dough may be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for a day or two before rolling out.

http://fivehearthome.com/2013/10/21/fool-proof-flaky-butter-pie-crust/

A few of our favorite pretzel crust pies…

Key Lime Pie with a Pretzel Crust and Coconut Whipped Cream | {Five Heart Home}Key Lime Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream

Frozen Orange Creamsicle Pie with a Pretzel Crust | FiveHeartHome.comFrozen Orange Creamsicle Pie

 

Let’s stay in touch!

Facebook   |   Google+   |   Pinterest   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

Sign up to have new blog posts sent to your inbox!

I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

 

This post may be linked up to House of Rose, 4 Little Fergusons, and these fabulous parties!

 

Signature

Comments

  1. Looks perfect! I love my food processor for pulsing my pie crust. It cuts in the butter so perfectly and finely, way better than my hand-held pastry blender ever did. I know that people are intimidated by the idea of making pie crust. You’ve done a good job explaining how to do it, and people should also realize that any skill comes only with practice, practice, practice! :-)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Judy! I totally agree…I have much better pie crust outcomes using a food processor than I ever did by hand. I’m afraid I lack the patience to get everything to the just-right stage with a pastry blender! ;) And practice is definitely key. I think the hardest part to making pie crust for the first time is not feeling sure that everything “looks right” at the various stages, which is why I felt like it was important to include step-by-step pictures for this post. I’m glad to hear that you think that these directions looks like they’d be helpful to a newbie crust maker. :) I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting…have a great week!

  2. Debbie Caraballo says:

    OK, Samantha….I haven’t even attempted to make a pie crust for many years; therefore, I’ve never tried it in a processor. Maybe even I could get this recipe to turn out right?? Seriously, I’m a darn good cook, AND baker, but pie crust is something that never worked out for me. If I try it, I’ll let ya know! Thanks for posting – it’s very intriguing!

    Deb (we won’t talk about the Aggie game this time!)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You can do it, Deb! Seriously, if you have a food processor, making a pie crust is cake. ;) Do let me know how things go if you end up trying it!

      And your Aggie comment made me laugh. I’m going to need to start taking blood pressure meds before the games if they keep playing such close ones! Too bad that one didn’t turn out in our favor…hopefully we didn’t lose our QB in the process. :(

      Good luck with the pie crust!

  3. I love apple pie and I cannot wait to try your pie crust recipe Samantha! I really hate cleaning my food processor, but you are so right about it being the way to make crust.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Emily! The food processor makes throwing together a pie crust so much easier, doesn’t it? I don’t like cleaning my food processor either, so I usually end up sticking all of the parts in the dishwasher. They take up a lot of room, but somehow I always find a way to make them fit… ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Samantha! You made the perfect pie dough!
    There really is nothing like a pie dough made with butter, and lots of it!
    Oh ~ and your pie is also quite beautiful :0) Such pretty scallops (my favorite!).
    Have a beautiful week,
    Suzanne

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Suzanne! I totally agree…you just can’t beat the flavor of a buttery pie crust!

      I really appreciate you stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment. Hope your week is going well!

  5. I for one am always intimidated by a good pie crust! Cannot wait to try this recipe, I’ve got a pie filling that’s in need of a good crust! I’d love for you to share this post with my Life Created link party; this week’s party is now live :)

    Erin

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      There’s no reason to be intimidated by this crust, Erin…it will turn out great and go perfectly with your pie filling! Thanks so much for stopping by, and i appreciate the invite to your link party! :)

  6. Samantha, this looks like the perfect pie crust! A lot of people are going to be happy to have this in time for Turkey Day! :) Thank you so much for joining us and sharing at Best of the Weekend! Pinning! Hope you have a happy weekend!

  7. Hi Samantha! You make a pie crust look easy! I can hardly wait to give it a try! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Felecia! Believe me, if I make it look easy, that just means that anyone can do it. ;) Good luck! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I love your pie crust tips! Cold ingredients are a must, so much so that I even freeze my flour, it’s just one more way to keep in the cold! I’ve never made a crust with just butter. I like to use a mixture of shortening and lard, but this is something I really might like to try. Thanks for sharing on Strut Your Stuff!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      What a great idea to freeze the flour, too, Cheryl! I’m sure your pie crust turns out great…I hope you enjoy this all-butter version, too! :)

  9. These are great tips, I also like to use the food processor, I used to do it by hand. I’ve also realized that refrigerating the crust is a must. I do tend to favor a hybrid pie crust as my last butter crust didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked but I think I’ll give it another try. :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Angela! Hybrid crusts definitely have great texture, but I’m an all-butter girl and have been really happy with how this one turns out, taste and texture-wise. Hope it works well for you if you end up trying it! :)

  10. You just made the most perfect looking pie crust I’ve ever seen!! ;) Stunning!

  11. Dear Samantha, I love making homemade crusts. This sounds easy and looks perfect! Thank you for sharing. Just stopping by from Best of the Weekend. Blessings, Catherine xo

  12. You make it look so easy!! I’ve only made pie crust from scratch a few times, and I’m definitely pinning this for future reference! Thanks so much for sharing, Samantha : )

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Liz, and you’re welcome! ;) I promise, it is easy! Plus, if you make a few batches in a row and pop them the disks of dough in your freezer, you have quick homemade pie crust any time you need it…

  13. I have your recipe pie crust chilling in my fridge right now. This is the second time I make a pie today, the first recipe I used was an epic fail….
    I am a beginner when it comes to making pie crust. Well honestly, this is the second time I attempt a crust. I followed the recipe to a tee. Wish me luck, as it is Christmas Eve and I have no choice to serve this pie good or horrible.
    I will keep you posted on my families feedback!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Valerie! I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a rough go with pie crusts, but I really hope that this recipe turned out well for you! If you followed the steps, I’m betting it did. ;) Hope you had a great Christmas!

      • It was a success! I was pretty proud of myself. Everyone liked the pie or at least they said they did. Either way it turned out. Thanks for the perfect instructions

        • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

          Your comment totally made my night, Valerie…I’m very happy to hear that your pie crust was a success! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know. :)

Speak Your Mind

*